Chloé Coislier reminisces on her memories of the french mountains of Argentière and a trip with her closest friends through dreams in color and nebulous shapes.
Welcome! You’ve arrived to CongaBorealis’ Carousel Interview Series, where Contributors and Featured Artists take turns in asking questions and getting unpredictable and sometimes pretty delusional answers.
Chloé Coislier is a Master of Arts graduate, her work revolves around developing and researching the transmission and awakening of memories. By combining analogue film and digital prints and chemically deteriorating films Chloé gives free rein to chance, creating abstract images where familiar shapes can be detached.
The transcript below has been edited for length and clarity.
C/B:The title of the series is Réminiscences, french for the word, Reminiscent, or a platonic recollection of past events; in this sense, what feelings and emotions are you recollecting through these images, what are you reminiscent about and where were you when you took the photos?
Chloé: The photos were taken into the French mountains at Argentière and the people we can see are my closest friends, we were in vacations together. It was a beautiful moment, one of my favorite in my life, so I’ll try to recollect sweet feelings, delicates like the caress of a butterfly wing. The roll film was damaged to the point of transcribing the unfinished movement of the memory, to leaving a place for the chance, like the idea to not being able to control our life. So the photos were already damaged and vanishing before I’ll take them. It was memory already lost ...
C/B: In speaking about reminiscence, do you think that the photographer has a specific role in the process of collective memory?
Chloé: It’s a hard question… Yes I do, but they don’t have the exclusivity. But I think that if you have the gift, the opportunity and the capacity to do it you have to. But in following your feelings, do it because you feel inside you that is the right thing to do.
C/B: The elements of nature and people engulfed by nature are very present in your series, appearing through the color stains in a poetically romantic way, do you find that being in nature changes the state of mind of a human being, do you feel that going to unknown territories affects the way that one sees the world, and therein, the art that comes from the artist in these terms?
Chloé: Yes of course ! To me, you have to travel, meet new people, see new cultures, see that there are so many other worlds, and beautiful worlds because they are different ! It affects you, not always in the kindest way but sometimes you have to think about your place in the universe and that why this is necessary.
C/B: Why did you make the color marks a primal part and an essential narrative component of the pieces? How did you technically achieve them?
Chloé: Because mostly, we see in color and you dream in color, to me, a memory slowly comes back to you in abstract nebulous shape. I wanted to translate the time who blur the pictures in front of your eyes…I also work with synesthesia, connect feelings, sensations with colors. I do a lot of things with the roll film, I soap it into detergent before taking the pictures, or I painting on it after developing.
C/B: Where do you draw your inspiration? What photographers have incite you to work within this realm?
Chloé: I really love all of the Instagram generation, really talented and spontaneous ! Like Polina Washington, Maya Beano… I do love a lot Fransesca Woodman, Claude Cahun, Duane Michals, David Nebreda, Mike Gong, stan brakhage …